A Screening and Symposium

Presented by BIMI, the dept. of Psychosocial Studies (Birlbeck) and the Department of Social, Therapeutic and Community Studies Goldsmiths.

Birkbeck Cinema, May 11th & 12th 2018

SCREENING MAY 11TH 18:00 – 20:00

“For me, sexuality is in the body. And you should certainly not be a victim. It’s not something that you go through, it’s something that you are active in. I wanted to show you: a sexuality that is not apologetic, shameless, in the body, in the now.” (Ducournau, 2016)

This symposium will bring together academics, writers, clinicians and artists/film-makers to discuss notions of cannibalism in a psychosocial/sexual context. Issues discussed will be psychic, bodily, sexual and aesthetic boundaries and limits, porousness, mechanisms of incorporation and fantasies of devouring and being devoured. The symposium will include a day of live conversations, academic papers, open discussion, video essays and screening of artist commissioned films.

The sessions will take as their point of departure the 2017 film RAW by French writer-director Julia Ducournau. In her debut feature, Ducournau subverts the coming of age genre with an intense exploration of the theme of cannibalism to address questions around sexualities, desire, femininity, notions of the ‘human’ and intergenerational kinship transmissions.

Far from pathologising cannibalistic formations of fantasy and desire, RAW releases modes of desire, passionate attachments-as-embodied-dependency and intergenerational structures outside the realm of prohibition and repression. Psychic life always resists the social reality of prohibition that comes to constitute it. RAW love, tied to dependency and aggression expressed in cannibalistic impulses, throws the goodness of the lover and that of the loved one in doubt while it puts animality as the eruption of vital force at the heart of intimacy.

The film oscillates between comedy and horror and is charged with a visceral and intellectual energy that marks this out as a striking work with implications not only for filmmaking but for feminism, psychoanalysis, queer theory, post- humanism and philosophy. The panels will discuss critically and creatively Ducournau’s work from the perspectives of psychoanalytic, queer feminist theories and theories of the non/post-human.


Friday May 11th
18.00-20.00 Screening of Raw ( Julia Ducournau, 2017) Birkbeck Cinema.

Saturday May 12th
Symposium and drinks reception and performance
10.45 Registration
11-11.15am Introduction : Chrysanthi Nigianni (Goldsmiths)/ Amber Jacobs (Birkbeck)

Panel 1: Raw (11.15 am -12 pm)
Patricia MacCormack, ‘The Age of the Anthropophagous’
Screening of short commissioned film by artist Mia Taylor
Reponse: Chrysanthi Nigianni

Panel 2 Raw Desires (12- 1 pm)
Elzbieta Buslowska ‘Raw Un/doings Self-Other’
Chrysanthi Nigianni ‘The impulse for flesh’
Chair: Patricia MacCormack

Lunch Break (1-2pm)

Raw Performance (2-2.30pm)
“Cunt Heart” by Catherine Maffioletti
Performers: Fauve Alice & Catherine Maffioletti
Piano: Bryony Conroy
Video & Sound: Richard Brunner

Panel 3: Raw Feminism 2.30-3.15 pm
Rosalind Galt, ‘“C’est grave”: Raw’s white cannibal feminism’
Annette-Carina van der Zaag, Towards a Posthuman Ethics of Raw Desire: non/human sexuality beyond dehumanisation
Chair: Amber Jacobs

Panel 4: Raw Power (3.15- 4.15 pm)
Marita Vyrgioti, ‘Take this and eat it; this is my flesh this is my blood’: Freud’s critique of Christianity
Eve Watson, ‘I Eat What I am Not: Psychoanalysing “Raw” as Excessive to the Capitalistic Discourse’
Carrie Hamilton, ‘“I hate vegans; I’d rather be a cannibal”: some thoughts on eating and being eaten”’
Chair: Noreen Giffney

Tea/Coffee Break 4.15-4.30

Panel 5: Raw Conversation (4.30-5.15pm)
Noreen Giffney & Amber Jacobs discuss a range of raw themes
Chair: Leticia Paes

Panel 6 Raw images (5.15 -6 pm)
Screening of short commissioned film by artist Mia Taylor
Screening of video essay by Catherine Grant and Amber Jacobs
Discussion of Script in Progress and Response by Filmmaker Sarah Turner
Chair: Henriette Gunkel

Raw Ending (6pm-7.30pm)
Drinks Reception and Raw Food Performance with Catherine Maffioletti (Cinema Foyer)
“Raw Ending” by Catherine Maffioletti
Performers: Kay Elizabeth Smeaton, Genevieve K Grant-Thompson, Fauve Alice & Catherine Maffioletti